A Bit Like You And Me Radio

June 29, 2016

Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction (1965)

Barry McGuire was born on October 15, 1935 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, but moved to California at the young age of two years old. In the early 1960s, McGuire performed in a folk duo with Barry Kane, calling themselves Barry & Barry. In 1962, both McGuire and Kane joined a larger folk group known as The New Christy Minstrels. In 1965, McGuire left the Minstrels, wanting to record more political-oriented, serious music. He started off with a bang, as, that summer, he recorded what would be his most well-known song, “Eve of Destruction,” heard below. Its release propelled McGuire into international stardom, but unfortunately the artist would never again break into the Top 40. His lustrous career has spanned more than five decades, resulting in more than twenty-five albums.

Written by P. F. Sloan in 1964, this song was first offered to The Byrds, who were known to record political songs such as this one. However, The Byrds declined and the song was thus first recorded and released by The Turtles, whose version you can hear in one of our previous posts. As it was, the version recorded and released by Barry McGuire in July 1965 garnered the most success. Surprisingly, the version with McGuire was also only a rough draft.

In mid-July 1965, some members of The Wrecking Crew had recorded the music for “Eve of Destruction” for McGuire to use, and McGuire ran through the vocals off of a crumbled piece of paper to get a feel for the song. He only recorded one take, but sometime later that day, his rough cut was leaked to a DJ and the song became an instant hit overnight. Ultimately, the song went to number one in the United States and has since been widely regarded as an iconic anthem encompassing the mood of many during the 1960s.

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Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction (1965)

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Lyrics:

The eastern world- it is explodin'
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'?
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin'

But ya tell me over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, ya don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Don'tcha understand what I'm tryin' to say?
And can't you feel the fears that I'm feelin' today?
If the button is pushed, there's no runnin’ away
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around ya, boy; it's bound to scare ya, boy; and ya

Tell me over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, ya don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Yeah, my blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin'
I'm sittin' here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of sedatives don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'; and ya

Tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, ya don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
Ah, you may leave here for four days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace; and

Tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Mm, no, no, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

June 22, 2016

The Seekers - Georgy Girl (1966)

At Melbourne Boys High School in Victoria, Australia during the late 1950s, a few guys from different musical groups (The Trinamics and The Ramblers) came together to start a new doo-wop act calling themselves The Escorts. Over the next few years, some members shuffled in and out; and, in 1962, the group renamed themselves The Seekers. After the dust had settled, their most well-known line-up had been solidified; it consisted of Judith Durham (vocals, piano, and tambourine), Athol Guy (bass), Keith Potger (guitar), and Bruce Woodley (guitar).

The group’s popularity began in Melbourne, Australia, spread to the rest of the country, and by February 1965, they had claimed the number one and number four spots on the charts in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively.

The song heard below was the band’s highest charting single in the United States, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s music (by Tom Springfield) and lyrics (by Jim Dale) were put together to go with the release of a British film, also titled Georgy Girl, released in 1966. In the movie, two alternative versions of the song are heard- one during the opening credits and the other during the closing credits. An entirely different third version was used for the release of the song as a single. The single version is the one heard below.

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The Seekers - Georgy Girl (1966)

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Lyrics:

Hey there, Georgy girl
Swingin’ down the street so fancy-free
Nobody you meet could ever see
The loneliness there
Inside you

Hey there, Georgy girl
Why do all the boys just pass you by?
Could it be you just don’t try?
Or is it the clothes you wear?

You’re always window shopping
But never stopping to buy
So, shed those dowdy feathers and fly
A little bit

Hey there, Georgy girl
There’s another Georgy deep inside
Bring out all the love you hide
And, oh, what a change there’d be
The world would see
A new Georgy girl

Hey there, Georgy girl
Dreamin’ of the someone you could be
Life is a reality
You can’t always run away

Don’t be so scared of changing
And rearranging yourself
It’s time for jumping down from the shelf
A little bit

Hey there, Georgy girl
There’s another Georgy deep inside
Bring out all the love you hide
And, oh, what a change there’d be
The world would see
A new Georgy girl

(Hey there, Georgy girl)
Wake up, Georgy girl
(Hey there, Georgy girl)
Come on, Georgy girl
(Hey there, Georgy girl)
Wake up, Georgy girl…

June 15, 2016

Spirit - Life Has Just Begun (1970)

In 1966, the fifteen year old Randy California (born Randy Wolfe) was performing in Greenwich Village, New York with Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. Jimmy James was the stage name being used by Jimi Hendrix at the time; and, the band was playing Hendrix’s arrangements that would later be recorded and released when he formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was around this time that Chas Chandler of The Animals heard Jimmy James and the Blue Flames and convinced Hendrix to come to England to produce The Animals’ music. Hendrix agreed and Randy California didn’t follow.

Instead, after moving out to Los Angeles, California started a band called the Red Roosters in 1967 with Mark Andes and Jay Ferguson. Soon, California’s step father joined the band (Ed “Mr. Skin” Cassidy) on drums, along with keyboardist John Locke. With the addition of the new members, the band renamed themselves The Spirits Rebellious, which was soon shortened to their final, more well-known name of Spirit.

The song heard below is the tenth track on the band’s fourth album, titled Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. Released in November 1970, the album was then the band’s lowest charting album. However, as time went on, it also became their best-selling one, and was certified Gold in the United States in 1976.

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Spirit - Life Has Just Begun (1970)

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Lyrics:

Oh, hey Kiowa
I know your name
Catch me a’glancing
With one of your eye
So much we are chancing
If we said goodbye

Oh

Softly say you'll be my bride
And our hearts a solid beat
Say you'll always be here by my side
With the hearts all constantly

Oh, we

(Walked in a dream and we knew it was)
(Married in the dream)
(Strange as it seemed that we knew because)

(Because) Life has just begun
(Life has just begun) (Life has just begun)
Because life has just begun

Hey, Kiowa
I know your name
Hey, Kiowa
I know your name

Walking in that sun, Kiowa
And even though your legs are tired
Though we’re on the run, Kiowa
Our hearts are free from all desire

Walked in the dream and we knew it was
Strange as it seemed that we knew because

(Because life has just begun)
(Life has just begun, life has just begun)
(Life has just begun, life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)

June 08, 2016

The Gentrys - Keep On Dancing (1965)

This band was formed in May 1963 by seven students at Treadwell High School in Memphis, Tennessee. Originally going by the name The Gents, the group had entered and placed in a number of band competitions throughout 1964. This led to the group getting a record deal from the local Youngstown Records in December of that same year and releasing their first single- a regional hit, titled “Sometimes”- in early 1965. Later in 1965, the group released their most successful song (heard below), which led to appearances on Shindig!, Hullaballo, Where the Action Is, and the 1967 movie It’s a Bikini World. The success of the song even led the band to tour and open for The Beach Boys and Sonny and Cher. Unfortunately, though, the group’s five follow-up singles were not well received, and the group disbanded in 1967. Notably, however, the band’s primary vocalist, Jimmy Hart, would go on to have a very successful career in the WWF (now WWE) throughout the 1980s and ‘90s.

Written by Allen Jones and Willie David Young, the song below was first recorded and released by a band known as The Avantis in 1963. The Gentrys’ cover of the song, released in 1965 and heard below, sold over a million copies and spent two weeks at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It should be noted that for this particular song, the lead vocals were performed by the band’s guitarist, Larry Raspberry.

Also, the finished song was initially one minute and thirty seconds long. But, feeling that it was too short to receive significant commercial airplay, producers took the first forty seconds of the song and duplicated them at the end of the track. As a result, the final version of the song has a false ending at the 1:30 mark, followed by the exact same intro being heard for the next forty seconds, until it fades out and the song officially ends.

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The Gentrys - Keep On Dancing (1965)

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Lyrics:

Keep on dancin’
Keep on doing the jerk right now
Shake it, shake it, baby
Come on and show me how you work

Now you’re in motion
Keep on- do the locomotion, yeah
Don’t worry, little babe
Shake it, shake it perfectly

Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’

Keep on dancin’
Keep on doing the jerk
Shake it, shake it, baby
Come on and show me how you work

Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’

Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’

Keep on dancin’
Keep on doing the jerk right now
Shake it, shake it, baby
Come on and show me how you work

Now you’re in motion
Keep on- do the locomotion, yeah
Don’t worry, little babe
Shake it, shake it perfectly

Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’...

June 01, 2016

The Sonics - Psycho (1965)

This band’s beginnings can be traced back to the living room of brothers Larry, Jerry, and Andy Parypas in Tacoma, Washington circa 1960. The brothers had been raised amongst the musical influences of their parents, who proudly supported the rock ‘n’ roll genre. Once the family jam sessions began to transition into the boys forming an actual band- around early 1964- their mother still sometimes sat in on bass if no one else was available.

By late 1964, after the personnel shuffling finally slowed down, the band was picked up by Etiquette Records and released their first single, “The Witch” b/w Little Richard'sKeep A-Knockin’.” But since the subject matter of the A-Side was somewhat taboo, it received little airplay. By the end of 1964, the band’s most memorable lineup had been established, consisting of Gerry Roslie (vocals), Andy Parypa (bass), Larry Parypa (guitar), Rob Lind (sax), and Bob Bennett (drums). This rendition of the band was the one featured on the band’s first two albums, Here Are the Sonics (March 1965) and Boom (February 1966). Although largely successful in the northwestern US, it was after these two albums were released that the band began a slow decline, until their complete dissolution sometime in 1968. From then onward, there has usually been some incarnation of The Sonics performing, but never the same one that matched the original lineup seen during the group’s heyday.

The song below was featured on the band’s first album, Here Are the Sonics, released in March of 1965. Written by lead singer Gerry Roslie, the song was the opening track to the back side of the album. Along with the rest of the album, the song is often cited as one of the influencing pieces to the punk rock and grunge genres popularized decades later.

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The Sonics - Psycho (1965)

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Lyrics:

Baby, you're driving me crazy
I said baby, you're driving me crazy
The way you turn me on
Then you shut me down
Oh, well tell me, baby
Am I just your clown?
Psycho

Baby, you're driving me crazy
I said I'm losing my mind
You treat me so unkind
Psycho

Baby, you're driving me crazy
I'm going out of my head
And now I wish I was dead
Psycho

Baby, you're driving me crazy
I'm going out of my head
Now I wish I was dead
Psycho

Psycho
Psycho
Psycho